Guide to the Grunsky Family Papers, 1830-1969

Processed by Elizabeth Konzak
The Bancroft Library.
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu
© 2003
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Grunsky Family Papers, 1830-1969

Collection number: BANC MSS C-B 557

The Bancroft Library



University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

Collection Processed By:
Elizabeth Konzak
Date Completed:
October 2003
Finding Aid written by:
Elizabeth Konzak
© 2003 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Grunsky Family Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1830-1969
Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 557
Creator: Grunsky family Grunsky, Charles, 1823-1891. Grunsky, C. E. (Carl Ewald), 1855-1934. Grunsky, Clotilde, 1830-1864. Grunsky, Eugene L.
Extent: 8 Boxes, 3 Cartons, 1 Oversize Folder 6.25 linear feet
Repository: The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Abstract: The Grunsky Family Papers consist of correspondence, documents, diaries, notebooks, and professional papers. Correspondence from German immigrant Charles (Carl) Grunsky and his first wife, Clotilde Camerer, describes California during and after the gold rush to family in Germany (written in German). Correspondence continues with Charles' children, Carl Ewald, Charlotte (Lottie), Otto, and Anna as well as Carl Ewald's wife Martha Kate Powers, her father Aaron Powers, and their children Eugene Lucius and Clotilde. The materials include descriptions of family life, the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, and World War I Germany. Also documented is Carl Ewald Grunsky's professional life as an engineer in California, serving as San Francisco City Engineer and on the Isthmian Canal Commission (Panama Canal). The materials provide an overview of a successful California family from the gold rush to the mid-twentieth century.
Physical Location: Collection stored in part off-site. Advance notice required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Languages Represented: English

Information for Researchers

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Grunsky Family Papers, BANC MSS C-B 557, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Related Collections

Illustrations for Stockton Boyhood from the Grunsky family papers [graphic] ca. 1849-ca. 1931. BANC PIC 1954.026-B. The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Pictorial material from the Grunsky family papers [graphic] ca. 1850-1931. BANC PIC 1984.055-PIC. The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Stockton boyhood; Being the reminiscences of Carl Ewald Grunsky which cover the years from 1855 to 1877. ed. by Clotilde C. Taylor. Bancroft Library publications no. 7. Berkeley, Calif. Friends of the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1959.
Grunsky, Charles, 1823-1891. From Europe to California: Extracts from letters of Charles Grunsky and his wife Clotilde, 1844-1853. F593.G87 The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Taylor, Clotilde Grunsky, b. 1891. Dear family; the story of the lives of Charles and Clotilde Grunsky, 1823-1891, xF860.T23 The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Grunsky, Carl Ewald (1855-1934). Papers. 18 boxes, 4.4 cu.ft. California Academy of Sciences Special Collections. San Francisco, California.

Separated Material

Pictorial material transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library (BANC PIC 1954.026-B, BANC PIC 1984.055-PIC)

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
World War, 1914-1918.
Earthquakes--California--San Francisco.
Fires--California--San Francisco.
Family papers.
Grunsky, Charles, 1823-1891.
Grunsky, Clotilde, 1830-1864.
Grunsky, C. E. (Carl Ewald), 1855-1934.
Grunsky, Eugene L.
Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919.
Isthmian Canal Commission (U.S.).

Administrative Information

Provenance

The Grunsky Family Papers given to The Bancroft Library by Clotilde Grunsky Taylor in 1954 and 1955 were originally cataloged as BANC MSS C-B 557. Additions given in 1984, originally cataloged as BANC MSS 85/63 c, have been consolidated into the collection BANC MSS C-B 557.

Family Chronology

1823 Charles (Carl) Albert Leopold Grunsky born, Maichingen, Germany (d. 1891)
1844 Charles Grunsky immigrates to America
1849 Charles Grunsky moves to California
1852 Charles Grunsky marries Clotilde Camerer (1830-1864)
1853 Charlotte (Lottie) Fredricka born (d. 1920)
1855 Carl Ewald born (d. 1934)
1857 Otto Maximilian born (d. 1922)
1866 Charles Grunsky's second marriage, to Fredrika (Charlotte Louise) Camerer (1838-1874)
1876 Charles Grunsky's third marriage, to Anna Marie Follert Wurster (1836-1903)
1879 Anna Pauline born (d. 1935) to Charles and Anna Marie Grunsky
1883 Carl Ewald Grunsky marries Martha Kate Powers (1858-1921)
1886 Eugene Lucius born (d.1946) to Carl Ewald and Martha Kate Grunsky
1891 Clotilde born (d. 1994) to Carl Ewald and Martha Kate Grunsky
Note: This limited family chronology lists only family members included in the collection. For additional genealogical materials, see Series 3.7, Clotilde Grunsky Taylor.

Family History

Charles (Carl) Grunsky left Wurttenberg, Germany in 1844 to immigrate to America. Dissatisfied with his prospects in Saint Louis and Alabama, he came west to California in 1849. After a brief experience in the mines, Charles established a successful transport business in Copperopolis. Charles went home to Wurttenberg in 1852, returning to California with his bride, Clotilde Camerer Grunsky. The Grunsky family settled on a ranch near Stockton. Clotilde Grunsky had seven children from 1853-1863. After Clotilde's death in 1864, Charles married Frederika (Charlotte Louise) Camerer in 1866. Fredricka had three children before her death in 1874. Charles married a third time, to Anna Marie Follert Wurster in 1876. Anna had the last of Charles' eleven children. Charles died in 1891.
Carl Ewald Grunsky was born to Charles and Clotilde in 1855. After graduating from high school, Grunsky continued his education in Stuttgart Germany, graduating as a Doctor of Engineering 1877. Returning to California, he worked with the State Engineering Department of California and the Examining Commission on Rivers and Harbors of California. Grunsky continued in private practice while consulting for the San Francisco Sewage Commission, the Commissioner of Public Works of California, and as San Francisco's first City Engineer from 1901-1904. Grunsky was a member of the Isthmian Canal Commission in 1904-1905 then a consulting engineer with the U.S. Reclamation Service from 1905-1907, while continuing private practice in New York and San Francisco. Grunsky was an active member of many organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Pacific Coast Technology Society, the Commonwealth Club of California, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was elected a resident member of the California Academy of Sciences in 1896 and was the Academy's President from 1912 until his death in 1934.
Carl Ewald Grunsky married Martha Kate Powers in 1883, and they had four children. Martha Kate Power's father, Aaron Hubbard Powers, came to California in 1949 by Cape Horn. Carl Ewald and Martha Kate's sons, Carl Ewald Jr. and Eugene Lucius, followed their father's footsteps and became engineers. One daughter, Clotilde Grunsky Taylor, an editor and graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, researched the family genealogy and wrote books from the family correspondence. Clotilde Grunsky Taylor donated the family papers and her research in 1955.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Grunsky Family Papers consist of correspondence, documents, diaries, notebooks, and professional papers. Correspondence from German immigrant Charles (Carl) Grunsky and his first wife, Clotilde Camerer, describes California during and after the gold rush to family in Germany (written in German). Correspondence continues between family members and Charles's children, Carl Ewald, Charlotte (Lottie), Otto, and Anna. Additional correspondence from Carl Ewald's wife Martha Kate Powers, her father Aaron Hubbard Powers, and their children Eugene Lucius and Clotilde. The materials include descriptions of family life, the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, and World War I Germany.
Also documented is Carl Ewald Grunsky's professional life as an engineer in California, as San Francisco city engineer, part of the Isthmian Canal Commission (Panama Canal), and as a member of the California Academy of Sciences. Records include correspondence, speeches, articles, and notebooks.
The materials provide an overview of a successful California family from the gold rush to the mid-twentieth century. Researchers will be particularly interested in the historical topics within the family's correspondence and the professional records of engineer Carl Ewald Grunsky.

Collection Contents

Box 1, 4, 5

SERIES 1: Grunsky, Charles (Carl) Albert Leopold (1823-1891), 1830-1881, n.d.

Arrangement

Arranged hierarchically and chronologically

Scope and Content Note

Contains correspondence, business papers, legal documents, and diaries from Charles (Carl) Grunsky and his wife, Clotilde Camerer Grunsky. Documents describe daily life in California. Correspondence is generally in German to or from family in Germany. [see also sub series 3.7 Clotilde Grunsky Taylor for family history]
 

Correspondence

box 1, folder 1-12

Outgoing, 1830-1866, n.d.

 

Incoming

box 1, folder 13-19

Family (also to first wife, Clotilde Camerer Grunsky (1830-1864)), 1848-1880, n.d.

box 1, folder 20-21

General, 1849-1870, n.d.

box 1, folder 22

Business Papers, 1852-1869, n.d.

box 1, folder 23

Legal Identification Documents, 1851-1881

box 5

Diaries, 1844-1851, 1864

box 4

Diaries, 1852, 1855

box 4

Clotilde Camerer Grunsky Diary, 1852-1859

Box 1-6, 8-10, Carton 1-2, Oversize Folder

SERIES 2: Grunsky, Carl Ewald (1855-1934), 1866-1933

Arrangement

Arranged hierarchically and chronologically

Scope and Content Note

The Carl Ewald Grunsky papers are divided into five sub-series, Personal Papers, Correspondence, Writings, Professional Papers, and Printed Materials and Clippings.
 

2.1: Personal Papers, 1855-1934

Scope and Content Note

Personal Papers contain materials on his education, certificates and commissions, professional history, and sketches of California and the Colorado river.
box 1, folder 24

Education in Germany, 1855-1910

 

Certificates and Commissions

box 1, folder 25

Documents, 1889-1930

Oversize folder 1A

Certificates, 1889-1930

box 1, folder 26

Professional Record / Biographical Information (includes memoria), 1904-1934

box 1, folder 27-29

Sketches, Watercolors, and Painting (California and unidentified), 1878-1895

box 2, folder 1-2

Sketches and Watercolors (California and the Colorado River), 1907

box 2, folder 3

Miscellany, 1927-1929

 

2.2.: Correspondence, 1866-1933

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence includes family correspondence (written in German and English), congratulations on his nomination to the Isthmian (Panama) Canal Commission, and a description of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire.
box 2, folder 4-5

Outgoing, 1866-1932

 

Incoming

box 2, folder 6

Family, 1875-1929

box 2, folder 7

General, 1884-1930

box 2, folder 8

California State Library, Milton J. Ferguson, 1926

box 2, folder 9

Herrmann, A. T., 1904

box 2, folder 10

Hoover, Herbert (1874-1964), 1931-1932

box 2, folder 11

Perkins, George (1824-1936), 1926

box 2, folder 12

Phelan, James D., 1904, 1914

box 2, folder 13

Roosevelt, Theodore (1858-1919), 1904

box 2, folder 14

Troutwine, John C., 1917-1921

box 2, folder 15

Townsend & Loftus, 1930-1933

box 2, folder 16

Correspondence regarding the Isthmian Canal Commission (U.S.) [Panama Canal], 1904

box 8

Scrapbook of Congratulatory Correspondence on appointment to the Isthmian Canal Commission (U.S.) [Panama Canal], 1904

box 2, folder 17

San Francisco Earthquake and Fire (Correspondence from family in San Francisco Area), 1906

 

2.3.: Writings, 1862-1934, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

Writings contain manuscripts of speeches, articles, papers and reminiscences of travel, family, professional, and general topics.
carton 1, folder 1

All American Canal Report, 1919

carton 1, folder 2

Bridges, San Francisco Bay Bridge, 1931, n.d.

carton 1, folder 3-6

Business, Public Policy, and Economics, 1908-1932

carton 1, folder 7

California, 1922-1931

carton 1, folder 8

California Academy of Sciences, 1931

carton 1, folder 9

Calendar Alternatives, 1932

carton 1, folder 10

Climatology (Ice Age), 1924-1934

carton 1, folder 11

Dams and Flood Control, 1927-1931

carton 1, folder 12-13

Engineers and the Engineering Profession, 1917, 1924-1931

carton 1, folder 14

Government, 1922-1932

carton 1, folder 15

International Relations, Peace, 1917-1925

carton 1, folder 16

Panama Canal, 1905, 1912, 1928, n.d.

carton 1, folder 17

Public Utility Rates, n.d.

carton 1, folder 18-19

Reminiscences, 1862-1908, 1930 n.d.

carton 1, folder 20

San Francisco, 1921, 1928, 1930, n.d.

carton 1, folder 21

Standard of Value, 1930-193219

carton 1, folder 22-23

Water, 1923-1931, n.d.

carton 1, folder 24

Widening of city streets, 1922

carton 2, folder 1

Miscellany, Unidentified Notes, n.d.

 

2.4.: Professional Papers, 1873-1938, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

Professional Papers consist of materials on Carl Ewald Grunsky tenure as San Francisco City Engineer, notebooks (generally containing notes and figures relating to professional activities though some notebooks contain personal reflections), and the card file index from the office he later shared with his son, Eugene Lucius Grunsky.
carton 2, folder 2

San Francisco City Engineer, Public Works, 1904-1929

carton 2, folder 3

Inventions and Patents (Sewer System, Suspension Bridge, Air Ship), 1927-1930

carton 2, folder 4

Sutter's Fort Restoration Materials (includes sketches), 1907, 1926, 1930, 1938

carton 2, folder 5

Topographic Stadia Surveying: a manual with reduction tables and a new type of reduction diagram, 1917

box 4

Notebooks, 1880-1927

box 5

Notebooks, 1873-1899

box 6

Notebooks, 1904-1931

box 6

Clear Lake Dam Photograph Book with Notes, 1913

 

Office Card files, n.d.

carton 3

Writings A-Z, Maps A-R

carton 3

Maps S-Z, Books A- F

carton 3

Books G-Z, General Office File A-B

carton 3

General Office File C-Sn

carton 3

General Office File So-Z, Miscellany

 

2.5.: Printed Materials and Clippings, 1880-1934, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

Printed Materials and Clippings include books from the UC Berkeley Architecture Association and San Francisco Architectural Club. Collected newspaper clippings feature Carl Ewald Grunsky's work and interests, including California and Stockton history. [see also sub series 3.7 Clotilde Grunsky Taylor for family history]
carton 2, folder 6

Year Book of the University of California Architectural Association, 1914, 1914

carton 2, folder 7

San Francisco Architectural Club Yearbook, 1915, 1915

carton 2, folder 8-9

Personal Clippings, 1903-1934

carton 2, folder 10

Scrapbook Clippings, 1907-1910

box 8

Scrapbook of Clippings, General, Collected by Marta Kate Powers Grunsky, 1880-1931

carton 2, folder 11

German Language Clippings from Post War Germany, ca. 1920-1924

carton 2, folder 12

Water Resources Clippings, n.d.

carton 2, folder 13-15

California and Stockton History Clippings, ca. 1922-1934, n.d.

Box 2-3, Carton 2

SERIES 3: Grunsky Family, 1831-1955, n.d.

Arrangement

The Grunsky Family sub-series is grouped by family members.

Scope and Content Note

Consists of family member correspondence, professional records and writings on family history.
 

3.1.: Grunsky Family, 1831-1933, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

Grunsky family documents include unidentified correspondence, translations of correspondence, information on land in Stockton, and miscellany.
box 2, folder 18-20

General Correspondence, 1831-1934, n.d.

box 2, folder 21

Translations of Family correspondence (German to English) Ewald and Otto's Trip to Germany (1872-1878), and From Post-War Germany (1919-1920), 1872-1878, 1919-1920

box 2, folder 22

Miscellany (includes copy of John Wilson's recollections of Mexico), 1882-1885, n.d.

box 2, folder 23

Miscellany, Stockton Land, 1921-1922, 1933

 

3.2.: Powers Family, 1849-1883, 1905-1907, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

Powers Family materials are from Martha Kate Powers Grunsky, wife of Carl Ewald, and her father Aaron Hubbard Powers. [see also sub series 3.7 Clotilde Grunsky Taylor for Powers family history]
 

Correspondence

box 3, folder 1

Outgoing, 1851, n.d.

box 3, folder 2

Incoming, 1852-1864

box 3, folder 3

Miscellany, 1849-1865

box 3, folder 4

Martha Kate Powers Grunsky Friendship Album, 1874-1883

box 3, folder 5

Martha Kate Powers Grunsky Correspondence, 1905-1907, n.d.

 

3.3.: Grunsky, Charlotte (Lottie) Fredricka (1853-1920), 1862-1920

Scope and Content Note

The correspondence of Charlotte (Lottie), sister of Carl Ewald, contains information on family affairs, including descriptions of World War I Germany.
 

Correspondence

box 3, folder 6

Outgoing, 1862-1884

box 3, folder 7

Incoming, 1868-1922

 

3.4.: Grunsky, Otto Maximilian (1857-1922), 1872-1921, n.d.

Scope and Content Note

The correspondence of Otto, brother of Carl Ewald, contains information on family affairs, including descriptions of World War I Germany.
 

Correspondence

box 3, folder 8

Outgoing, 1872-1874, n.d.

box 3, folder 9

Incoming, 1920-1921

 

3.5.: Grunsky, Anna Pauline (1879-1935), 1920-1923

Scope and Content Note

The correspondence of Anna, half-sister of Carl Ewald, contains information on family affairs, including descriptions of World War I Germany.
box 3, folder 10

Incoming Correspondence, 1920-1923

 

3.6.: Grunsky, Eugene Lucius (1886-1947), 1906-1941

Scope and Content Note

The materials from Eugene Lucius, son of Carl Ewald, are professional, describing his engineering projects and research including his notebooks, small binders of notes and figures relating to professional activities and projects, generally organized by subject.
carton 2, folder 16

Professional Record, ca. 1916

box 7

Notebooks, 1906-1936, n.d.

carton 2, folder 17

Notebook, 1906-1917

carton 2, folder 18-19

Date books, 1940-1941

 

Printed Materials

carton 2, folder 20-22

Golden Gate Bridge Reports: Chief Engineer, Traffic Engineer, Wing Report, 1930

carton 2, folder 23

Hoover Dam Bidding Specifications, 1931

box 8

Ventura County, California Water Survey Reports, 1939

 

3.7.: Taylor, Clotilde Grunsky (1891-1994), 1954-1969

Scope and Content Note

The documents of Clotilde Grunsky Taylor, daughter of Carl Ewald, contain genealogies and family history materials.
box 3, folder 11

Correspondence, 1934, 1951-1952

box 3, folder 12

Genealogical Materials and Correspondence, 1954

box 3, folder 13-14

The Story of the Lives of Charles and Clotilde Grunsky, 1823-1891, as Revealed in Diaries and Letters to their respective Families. ed. Clotilde Grunsky Taylor, 1955

box 3, folder 15-17

Stockton boyhood; Being the reminiscences of Carl Ewald Grunsky which cover the years from 1855 to 1877. ed. Clotilde Grunsky Taylor, ca. 1959

box 3, folder 18

Recollections of the Aaron H. Powers Family; The story of the lives of the various family members as revealed in letters and events . ed. Clotilde Grunsky Taylor, 1969